Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter

From M.E to Recovery, or was that Negativity?

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Sorry things have been a little quiet on the blog front.  I’ve had a number of other things going on and needed to give myself some much needed time to complete and address these first.

Firstly, I finally finished putting together all the information for my From M.E to Recovery facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FromM.E.toRecovery) and I launched this earlier this week. I was so pleased with this page as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I wanted to share my recovery story, inspire others and show people how I did it.  I know everyone’s recovery from ME/CFS is different, as all our journeys to becoming unwell in the first place are different but I honestly believe that some of the basics help all of us, if only to minimise the symptoms.

Being extremely pleased with myself for completing this project I posted the page on an ME/CFS facebook group page I’m a member of and was totally shocked and disappointed with the nasty, insulting and negative responses from a few of it’s members.  The majority of people were really supportive and pleased for me, but the minority I’m not ashamed to say really upset me.

I couldn’t believe fellow sufferers could be so cruel!  I’d been one of them and now I wasn’t they had turned on me.  What had I ever done to them?  I started to doubt what I was trying to achieve, my goals, my dreams and what I’d already done.  So easily I lost sight of everything I was working towards and slipped into a spiral of doubt, negativity disillusionment.

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You see in my excitement and haste to share my page I’d never considered that some people might not like my page, not believe I was recovered (because apparently you can’t) or that I even I had ME/CFS in the first place.  I just assumed everyone would be inspired by someone’s recovery as I had been inspired by others when I was unwell. WRONG!

So easily I almost lost me grasp on ‘me’, so easily I almost let them take it from me and so easily I could have reverted back to old thoughts and feelings.  However, this wasn’t me, isn’t going to be me and I wasn’t about to allow a few people with their negativity spoil what I had set out to achieve, what was authentically me! I wanted to help people and that’s what I was blooming well going to do!

So I took a step back from it all, considered the paths these people were on, how they’d come to be so negative and why they felt the need to be so rude and nasty to someone they had never met and then I forgave them, and not only that, but I thanked them for I realised this situation was sent for me to learn and grow from.  So that’s exactly what I’ve spent most of the rest of this week doing, learning about negativity, brushing up on my gratitude and seeing that if we can learn someone from every situation that appears negative to us then we can completely change our perspective of that situation – turning a negative into a positive!

As a result of this I have managed to write another 2 thousand words of my book (which I didn’t have before) and I’ve had masses of lovely positive posts/comments from friends and family (and people I’ve never met) saying how proud they are, how I inspire them and how much they think of me.  If it wasn’t for this minority of negative people I might never have known what these people really thought of me and my chosen path, so I am truly grateful for this.

I’ve also been exploring ways to not only deal with people’s negativity towards me or what I’m involved in but also how I could learn to help them turn their negativity around.  At the end of the day the only person this kind of negativity is really affecting is themselves. There is a lot of research out there now that shows how thinking negative thoughts affects our overall health and well-being as it creates chemical reactions in the brain and body (affecting things like our hormones, our immune system and our nervous system) and the more we think like this the more these pathways are reinforced.

What we need to try to do is form new pathways, new habits and look for the positive in our everyday lives rather than the negative and try to list what we are grateful for, rather than what we want or don’t have.  This may appear hard to do to start with, so start with the little stuff.  Are you grateful for your health, loved ones, work, a roof over your head, your pets, your friends, the natural world, peace and quiet, the ability to read, to listen to music or see a sunset?  Whatever it is note it down, do this every day, try to find at least 21 things a day you are grateful for and see your perspective on your life turn around!

Trust me, this simple technique really does work, create this new positive habit, go on, I dare you!

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If you want to share some of the things you’re grateful for below then I’d love to hear them =0)

I am grateful for all I’ve learnt this week, for all the teachers, positive speakers and for learning that if I’m genuine and authentic in all I do and want to achieve then it matters none what others think of me!

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